My constant hankering for quality Buffalo wings is no great secret, but did you know that for every life-affirming experience at Orange Buffalo, I also crave wings that actually aren’t that good but “just good enough”?
If you’ve been to a bar in the northeast of the States, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about – wings that are crispy, doused imperfectly in Frank’s, boasting meat of a questionable origin, and accompanied by blue cheese dip that’s unashamedly processed.
Read More: What the Feck is Wingin’ It?
What you never have to do is make a dedicated trip just to eat wings – you catch the game in your local or wherever your mates are and chomp away. And while you can now get proper good wings at a few places in the UK, what you still can’t do is walk into any old dive and get slung up a plate that hits the spot.
The good news is that my quest for “just good enough” wings recently ended. The Sports Bar & Grill in Marylebone (it’s got a couple of other locations in the capital as well) absolutely nails mediocrity – correct saucing, tooth shatteringly crispy on the outside, and just enough meat to warrant being associated with a chicken. A peculiar kind of perfect.
It’s not a mission to turn out these kind of wings – if every random fleapit in Southie can pull it off, most London pubs could too, if they wanted. Instead, we get flabby ‘BBQ wings’ doused in a swimming pool of sickly sauce, possibly accompanied by an identikit sweet chilli dip just in case everything wasn’t already nauseating enough.
So all credit to the Sports Bar & Grill for being just good enough. It’s an alright place on the whole, especially if you enjoy catching US sport – World Cup turnouts for the States were alarmingly enthusiastic, and NFL viewings there are enjoyable, if a bit too polite for my liking.
The rest of the menu is what you’d expect from a US-style joint and I can’t vouch for much more of it – hot dogs are average and distinctly overpriced – but if you stick with wings, a pint of cold, tasteless lager, and a head craned towards one of the big screens, you’ll be happy enough. Because sometimes, just good enough is all you really need.
Wingin’ It Verdict: 3.5/5